December 6, 2011 § 2 Comments
Well, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Life’s been crazy (again) and I just got distracted, fell behind, had other things going on…you know, life. BUT, now I’m back, and I have all sorts of things to tell you about. Not the least of which is I have actually come up with a scheduling system that might actually work for me because it’s pen and paper rather than electronic and is in fact very similar to the only other system that has worked for me, which I used in college (“college” wasn’t as long ago for me as you might think — I didn’t go ’til I was 30).
So, hopefully life will un-crazy itself a little and combined with my new-old system there will be much bloggy goodness in the weeks and months to come.
First up, November’s Taste & Create. Yes, I know it’s December. I’m late. Again. See above re: life. This month, I was paired with Angry Asian Creations. She has a ton of delicious sounding dessert recipes, and I had settled on the Six Minute Chocolate Cake. Then I had Zack’s birthday weekend, wherein I baked four cakes, three of which were miserable failures (more on that in a later post). So yeah, not going to be baking cake for awhile. In fact, my kitchen has been full of fail for quite awhile now, with very few exceptions, so I really wanted something
I couldn’t eff up too badly easy.
Since I’m trying to get more veggies into my diet, Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon and Olive Oil seemed right up my alley. Except I don’t like lemon, so I went with lime instead. And they’re…okay. Very fresh, very crisp, very light. I think I’ll enjoy them more in the summer, when a cold crispy snack is exactly what I’m looking for.
- 1/2 bag sugar snap peas (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
- Juice of one lime
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Slice the peas thinly on the bias. Toss in a bowl with lime juice and olive oil.
August 24, 2011 § 4 Comments
And my waistline, but so, so worth it. I came across this thing called Taste & Create a few months ago, where people make food from each other’s blogs (you sign up and get assigned a partner each month — it’s very cool). I decided to participate for the first time this month, and my partner was Always Eat On the Good China. The hardest part was choosing a recipe to make (and I’m totally going to make more of them — she has some really nommy sounding stuff!) but I finally settled on the Chicken Puffs. Chicken, bacon, cheese, puff pastry…what could possibly go wrong? Nothing, in this case. They were amazing.
I did modify the recipe a little to use what I had on hand (for example, I used goat cheese instead of cream cheese), and since I’m not a huge fan of plain chicken, I also decided to play around with marinades* and tried something new: OJ and balsamic vinegar. Yeah, that’s a keeper (1c. OJ + 1 Tbsp BV to cover about 1.5lbs of cubed chicken). She mentions in her post about the recipe that although the pic shows a whole chicken breast, she now cuts it into bite size chunks, so I went that way with it. And I didn’t mix anything up for the cream cheese mixture — I just threw a bunch of goat cheese on top and then topped it with some fresh basil, because I am lazy. Oh! Also instead of spraying my cookie sheet I just lined it with parchment paper which works beautifully for keeping stuff from sticking. And I didn’t brush with the egg wash, but that was just because I totally forgot to do it. Seemed to come out fine, but they would’ve been a little crispier with the wash.
So, modifications I’ll probably make next time I make this (because there will be a next time): First off, I think I’m going to try it as a pot-pie kind of thing…the puff pastry-to-filling ratio is just really high. Now, it’s puff pastry, so it’s not like my tastebuds are complaining, but I think it will be just as tasty topped with the puff instead of surrounded by it. Second — you might want to sit down for this one — I’m going to leave the bacon out. I just really didn’t feel like it added much to the flavor experience in this case. Weird, I know, but there you are. I also will probably try different marinade/cheese combos — I think this would be great with something spicy on the chicken and cheddar cheese, for instance. And there you have it…my first Taste & Create. This was tons of fun — I’m totally going to do it again next month!
*A note on using a marinade on something you’re going to wrap in puff pastry and bake: you need to dry it out before you put it in the pastry. Throw it in a saute pan and brown it — you’ve got lots of sugar in this marinade, so even let it caramelize a bit. You don’t need to worry so much about it being cooked through — the baking in the oven part will take care of that. And it won’t get too dry b/c you’ve added all that moisture to it.